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The Road (2009)

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In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writers:

Joe Penhall (screenplay by), Cormac McCarthy (based on the book by)
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Popularity
1,504 ( 224)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Man
Kodi Smit-McPhee ... Boy
Robert Duvall ... Old Man
Guy Pearce ... Veteran
Molly Parker ... Motherly Woman
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Thief
Garret Dillahunt ... Gang Member
Charlize Theron ... Woman
Bob Jennings ... Bearded Man
Agnes Herrmann Agnes Herrmann ... Archer's Woman
Buddy Sosthand Buddy Sosthand ... Archer
Kirk Brown Kirk Brown ... Bearded Face
Jack Erdie ... Bearded Man #2
David August Lindauer David August Lindauer ... Man On Mattress
Gina Preciado ... Well Fed Woman
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Storyline

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a moment the world changed forever.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,502,231, 29 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,692, 13 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the cannibals on the back of the truck was played by Kodi Smit-McPhee's real-life father. See more »

Goofs

The pistol the man carries with the boy (supposedly the same from his home) is a small caliber revolver. The pistol that the man and woman 'talk' over and even show the last 2 bullets is a large caliber revolver. This is clearly visible in each situation when the barrel is visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wife: What's happening? Why are you taking a bath?
The Man: I'm not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Over the end credits, we hear the sounds of children playing. What the world must have been like in happier times. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Watch Over Me (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 3 in E Major: Adagio Ma Non Tanto
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Arranged by Ryan Franks
Performed by Ryan Franks & Harry Scorzo
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bleaker than the novel!
11 November 2009 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"We are not gonna quit. We are gonna survive this." The Man

Survival is the ultimate motif of the Cormack McCarthy Pulitzer The Road. And so too is the film adaptation, faithful to the original while adding what McCarthy can't—the actualization of a landscape barren of life and humans barren of humanity. Then again, the film's failure is being even bleaker than the source, a testimony to the power of the imagination.

Except for a father (Viggo Mortensen) and young son (Kodi Smit-Mcphee), who represents the hope of the human race as the story assumes the trappings of allegorical, post-apocalyptic literature and film where the desolate outside mirrors the lonely inside of the humans, not all of whom are willing to carry on the good fight. Suicide becomes a leitmotif, a companion to hope as if out of a Bergman film, an escape from the horrible aftermath of devastation never explained. So much the better because allegorically there are numerous ways for us to ruin our earth and our spirits. Not the least of which could be nuclear or cannibal; the former does not make an appearance while the latter is omnipresent.

Director John Hillcoat has emphasized more than McCarthy the role, by flashback, of the wife/mother (Charlize Theron), but overall he has taken dialogue directly from the novel and stayed true to the bleak landscape where the sun doesn't shine and the trees fall intermittently like humans giving up the ghost.

The gray tones and beat up humans are like those in most post- apocalyptic films; however, as in Children of Men to a lesser extent, the focus is on how to survive, not even how to avoid death. In both cases, it's up to the young ones to "carry a fire' (the mantra of The Road), itself a metaphor for the strength to survive:

"Everything depends on reaching the coast. I told you I would do whatever it takes." The Man


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